Tyler Daniel Hardin has always been a one-man band of sorts — at least since his parents bought a video camera when he was about 12 and he started fooling around with it.
“Always” and “man” might be slightly misleading terms for someone who graduated high school last week, but he looks and acts deceptively older. Hardin describes himself as “a normal teenager,” but already carries himself like a professional and has the right look to host a TV show.
That’s his dream: to anchor a national news show or host his own, reporting on hard news, entertainment “or even hosting an ‘American Idol’-type show,” he said laughing. “Anything.”
First he’ll attend Appalachian State in the fall, majoring in broadcast journalism and working in the school’s new media-complex, he said. App is interested in launching a TV station, he added, something that he could get involved with on the ground floor.
Hardin is one of those people who has already drawn up a 60-year plan, which in addition to hosting a show on a national network involves publishing three books and working his way up to a Top 10 market and then to New York City.
The era of the one-man band began while Hardin was in eighth grade, where he pitched the idea for a TV program called “Falcon Monthly” to the principal at Guilford County’s Southeast Middle School. The 10-minute, monthly piece focused on student and school news, and Hardin adapted the idea at Weaver Academy.
There, he spent four years churning out “Student Reports,” a segment often running for 30 minutes “covering student activities, achievements and awards.” Hardin would write the script, host, film and edit the show, which aired on GCSTV on AT&T U-Verse and Time Warner Cable.
Undoubtedly there were times when pulling off a solo production was tedious and overwhelming, but Hardin said he was always “super happy” that he pushed through. He is primarily self-taught, pulling some experience from three bouts with different teams at the 48-Hour Film Fest and only taking Weaver’s digital-media course at the culmination of his high school career. Over time, Hardin has sought advice from basically every local news anchor, which he said helped him figure out ways to improve and what would be expected of him down the road.
If any Triad teenager is going to wind up as a widely recognizable TV host, it’s difficult to imagine anyone beating Hardin out for the honor. His eagerness and ambition radiate in conversation, amplified by the fact that he founded TDH Media in 2009 to promote his work and offer his professional video services.
The website for his production company demonstrates the variety of skills in his repertoire, oscillating from interviewing Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and High Point University President Nido Qubein to listing prices for music videos, customized graphics and real-estate photography.
Hardin looks more grown-up now than the somewhat baby-faced pictures on his website. Even early in the morning the day after graduation, when most of his peers were undoubtedly still sleeping, Hardin was up and at ’em, flashing a Hollywood smile.
Visit Tyler Hardin’s website, thetdhmedia.com, to get in touch or see his work.